To change or not to change (chain/cassette)
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  1. #1

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    To change or not to change (chain/cassette)

    I've searched thru and read many of the questions on new chain/old cassette/skipping issues etc. But have a slightly different question.

    I know I've been bad, I've kept the chain on my chorus 10 speed for over 9000 miles.
    I kept measuring for chain stretch with my little park tool and never had any
    measurable stretch before 8000 miles. The current stretch is still well below
    the threshold for chainging the chain.
    Now I only weigh 125 lbs, don't race, so I guessed that was my explanation for not causing much wear.
    Also drivetrain works fine, no noise, shifts great.

    I decided to get a new chain anyway after reading all the posts.
    I immediately started getting chain skip ( not ghost shifts ) on the middle
    4 or 5 cogs. So now I know my cassette is worn.

    Here's the question. If my old chain and cassette work fine at 9000 miles
    why should I change the chain and cassette when in effect, its not broken.
    Why not keep everything till 12K miles or 15K miles and when it stops working,
    change things then? All I can think of is that I'll also continue to wear my chain rings,
    but it looks like they're good for another 10K miles.

    Al

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Alternatives

    Quote Originally Posted by al pessot
    I know I've been bad, I've kept the chain on my chorus 10 speed for over 9000 miles. I kept measuring for chain stretch with my little park tool and never had any measurable stretch before 8000 miles. The current stretch is still well below the threshold for chainging the chain. Now I only weigh 125 lbs, don't race, so I guessed that was my explanation for not causing much wear. Also drivetrain works fine, no noise, shifts great.

    I decided to get a new chain anyway after reading all the posts. I immediately started getting chain skip ( not ghost shifts ) on the middle 4 or 5 cogs. So now I know my cassette is worn.

    Here's the question. If my old chain and cassette work fine at 9000 miles why should I change the chain and cassette when in effect, its not broken. Why not keep everything till 12K miles or 15K miles and when it stops working, change things then? All I can think of is that I'll also continue to wear my chain rings, but it looks like they're good for another 10K miles.
    My 125 lb wife routinely gets more miles than that out of Campy chains/cassettes. You have hit on the reason to change - chain ring wear. IME, however, shifting starts to degrade when you get to the 0.5% elongation point, so it works out to replace cassette and chain at the same time. Alternatively, you can replace the chain several times and get more life out of the cassette, but the $$ often end up in about the same place (as long as you aren't using Ti cog cassettes). Chainrings are expensive, so you still want to go with the 0.5% replacement to avoid destroying them. At your weight, rings could easily last 50K miles or more. YMMV

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    chain rings...

    I just replaced my 39t small Campy Record chain ring at 21,000 miles, which is probably a lot of mileage for a chain ring. The big ring is still fine, I do a lot of climbing and the small ring is under a lot of load when I use it.

    I swap out chains at regular intervals and cassettes when needed. Mileage varies, I think riding in the winter when the roads are wet creates more wear on the chain, but this is just an uneducated guess. I wipe my chain after each ride and apply a light coat of lube.

    My senario was this. I put on a new chain and it made an ungodly noise when I was in my small ring. I tried riding with it and it did not get any better and turned around and came home at mile 20 and put my old chain back on, noise gone. Recently I installed a new cassette/chain and the noise was back. Same as before, only made noise when in the small ring. I replaced the small ring and it is now flawless.

    For me I can usually get about 3 chains out of one cassette, but if you have to replace all 3 (chain/cassette/chain ring) it can get expensive.

    Generally what I do is bring my bike into my LBS and have someone with more knowledge than I take a look at my driveline for a second opinion. The head wrench of my LBS swaps out his chains at 2K, which is probably overkill, but he gets a nice discount on components.

    So I would say- change out chains and cassettes as needed, but count on replacing your chain rings sometime down the road, they don't last forever.

    And (gulp) the Campy stuff has become expensive, a new Chorus cassette just set me back $134 (less tax). The next time I'm going Centaur or Veloce..

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